WM Synthesis of Salicylic Acid and Aspirin

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It is better to synthesise medicines in the lab rather than continuing to extract it from trees or plants because:

  • Supply may be seasonal
  • Supply may be weather dependant
  • Extraction from natural resources gives low yield

Aspirin (made by esterification)

  • Is an ester
  • Functional group: RCOOR
  • Alcohol + Acid ----> Ester
  • It is not very soluble in water so it became the first medicine to be sold as tablets

Recrystalisation: Purifying technique

You can only make phenols into esters using acyl chlorides or acid anhydrides.


You need a solvent in which the solid is very soluble


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